It’s time to pay the piper.
And the fiddler, accordion player, flutist, guitarist, and bodhran player.
In short, the entire band known as FullSet.
You can bring this exciting ensemble of scary-good young musicians to the 40th annual Philadelphia Ceili Group Festival in early September … but the time to raise the cash necessary to hire the band is running short.
The Ceili Group is racing to meet a tight deadline to raise a minimum of $4,000, a substantial chunk of which is required to hire FullSet for the Ceili Group, a three-day extravaganza of Irish music, dance and culture, and one of the highlights of the Philadelphia folk scene.
“We have to have the goal raised by April 1 in order to book FullSet,” says Ceili Group Rosaleen McGill, the Ceili Group member who heard about the band and suggested featuring them at the festival. “Right now, they’re on a contingency. If we can’t meet the goal, we’ll have to release them.”
To bring in the bucks, the Ceili Group is turning to crowd-funding—typically, raising small amounts of cash online with the help of a large number of contributors. There are many crowd-funding websites. The Ceili Group is using a site called indiegogo.
“This is the way a lot of people are raising funds like that,” says McGill. “It’s a reasonable goal. I really trust in our community to help us raise the money and support the festival. The Ceili Group has touched a lot of people. We have a history of 40 years, bringing musicians over to Philadelphia before they hit it big. FullSet is affordable. They’re just coming up. They were up in Bethlehem at the Celtic Connections Festival last year. We’re hoping to tap into anyone who saw them up there.”
There’s another reason to bring FullSet to Philly, aside from their formidable performance skills. They also happen to be great teachers, says McGill. One of the highlights of the festival is the opportunity for up close and personal musical instrument instruction by performers. Some of the world’s finest Irish traditional musicians have shared their knowledge at the event, so making the musicians of FullSet available for workshops to is a real bonus.
Another great musician, the world-renowned singer Seán Keane, has already been booked.
Aside from the money required to hire FullSet, McGill says the Ceili Group hopes to apply some of the website contributions toward improving festival publicity.
“Last year, when we had a grant (from Pew), we did a lot of ads, and they seemed to really get people in the door. That’s another thing we were really going for. The more money we raise, the more if those ad opportunities we can get.”
As of today, the Ceili Group has raised $750 toward its goal, with 39 days left in the campaign. You can help close the gap. Visit igg.me/at/pcg40thfestival